BAALBEK, Lebanon: The car belonging to a doctor who went missing two days ago in east Lebanon was discovered to have been set ablaze late Wednesday, as police continued their search operation.
A source told The Daily Star Thursday that a green pick-up truck belonging to Saleh al-Shall, the medical director at Ibn Sina hospital in Baalbek, had been burned in the nearby town of Taybeh.
The source added that police had launched early morning raids in the town of Brital, near Taybeh following the car's discovery.
Shall was abducted overnight Tuesday from his orchard, which is situated on the outskirts of Lebanon's eastern mountain range.
An eyewitness said that several four-wheel-drive vehicles and a pickup truck suspected to be carrying the doctor were seen en route to the town of Brital.
The circumstances of the incident remain unclear, as the kidnappers have not yet made any demands.
Residents of Baalbek held a protest for a second day Thursday outside the local government headquarters to reject the abduction of the doctor and the state's failure to find him.
“In the name of the municipal council and the residents of Baalbek, we express our utmost condemnation over what happened to Dr. Saleh al-Shall...This kind of act affects our security and integrity,” mayor of Baalbek brigadier Hussein Lakkis said at the protest.
Lakkis added that he has formed a committee to follow up on the case, comprised of doctors, municipal leaders and mayors.
Baalbek-Hermel Governor Bashir Khodr said he is following up on the abduction and that he met with Internal Security Forces head Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Basbous to discuss the issue.
Meanwhile, the head of Lebanon’s Order of Physicians, Raymond Sayegh called on security forces to increase efforts to locate Shall.